Today is my birthday and so I naturally reflect on living into my God-sized dream this past year. It causes me to remember these words:
“You’re not an anorexic but your life is.”
Words spoken to me over 12 years ago by my therapist. While that may seem like along time ago to you it seems like yesterday to me. They have never let me go. Those words are thankfully etched into me. I may not have an ink tattoo but I have a verbal tattoo.
You see I had been put on medical leave from ministry and forced (yes, by lawyers) into intensive treatment for what was being labeled as anorexia. The why’s of it all still don’t make sense to me but if it was only to hear that phrase above I will take it.
At the time I would have called my life chaos, hectic, or crazy. Sound familiar? I was doing all that I could to simply survive each day and was attempting to please a bunch of people at my work place who were seemingly disappointed in me no matter what I did. An odd place to be for a girl who tried to never do anything wrong.
But the truth is my life was starving to be lived. In my reality I couldn’t see it. My forced removal from the everyday grind gave me no other choice than to discover what living looked like. In my 3 month leave I took myself on retreats, visited an old chapel covered in stain glass weekly, went to jewelry making classes, enjoyed seminars, walked around in my bare feet, journaled, played with pastels, took myself to the movies, sat outside at coffee shops with my lap top, made friends, and attended church. I behaved as a human being rather than a human doing and it was life giving.
“The thief approaches with malicious intent, looking to steal, slaughter, and destroy; I came to give life with joy and abundance.” John 10:10
So when I speak of self care it has immense value to me because I know…like I really, really, really know…what it is like to live life void of it. For our Choices series in the area of self care I told you I wanted to start taking vitamins and washing my face. Simple, right? I haven’t met my goal of 14 days in a row but I am so much better than I was 30 days ago. And I will just keep working. Eventually my mind will know to choose it automatically.
I know self care can feel selfish. But have you thought about it from God’s perspective? When we remind ourselves that God is looking down seeing His daughter it flips things. He sees a daughter that He loves, cares for and desires to see living life abundantly. And how can that be possible if you are bogged down in zero care for the person who He created? I had a lovely reminder of why self-care feels so darn good. In September I attended Camp Create hosted by Meg Duerksten and Kimberlee Jost. I gifted it to myself and it was just that…a treasure of a gift.
I spent five whole days being spoiled rotten with incredible food, amazing teaching (thank you Holley, Stephanie and Michelle) and an off the charts environment. I met the kindest, sweetest, most delightful women and we simply sat and shared and ate and crafted and crafted and crafted some more. I crafted till past 1 a.m. and was up by 7:00 a.m. back at it. I wasn’t about to miss a minute. It was life giving for me. It was a sacrifice of money and it was extra effort on my family but it was so worth it because of how filled up I came out on the other side. I was reminded of how I experience life fully present and am making darn certain they are showing up in my week.
Here is a glimpse into Camp Create and I mean glimpse. There should be a post with just 50-60 pictures.
It was all dreamy! I am not expecting this to look ideal to you but do you know your ideal? What choice can you make today that will show yourself love? Not a selfish, conceited kinda love but love that comes from honoring God and all that He created you to be. My life is far from perfect today and for that I am actually thankful. In the ups and down and sideways places I go I know I am not simply sitting still and starving any longer. I chose to do more than survive. I chose to live and I know with God’s help you can too.